Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Strange injury


I picked up some sort of strange injury in Maine. It feels a bit like bruised ribs, though not as painful as bruised ribs. For the life of me I can't remember doing anything that could have caused the injury. I don't remember falling. I certainly don't remember taking a hard fall.

The injury is uncomfortable, but I don't think it is going to cause me any trouble at this weekend's race in Harriman. I ran a bit tonight and it felt ok.

Canadian maps at Runoway

I've never seen maps from North America at Runoway before today when I saw the BC champs maps.

If you haven't checked out Runoway, you should.

Next planned update...Tomorrow

I'm traveling to Harriman tomorrow morning. Normally when I travel I don't make an effort to update this page. But, I'm going to try to update the page while I'm on the road. No guarantees, but I'll try to get to a computer while I'm traveling.

posted by Michael | 8:40 PM


Wednesday, September 29, 2004  

We visited the world's largest rotating globe just outside of Portland, Maine. The snapshot shows the building housing the globe. The globe itself is about four stories tall.

posted by Michael | 9:00 PM



Dan checking out the world's largest rotating globe.

posted by Michael | 8:58 PM


TSA screened my wet O' gear


Traveling home from Maine I had three dirty O' suits. I'd run three races and while the clothes from the first two events were dry, they weren't clean. The clothes from the relay were still wet when I packed my bag. All of the dirty O' clothing was packed in plastic bags.

I also had my headlamp in my bag.

When I checked my bag I wondered if the headlamp would look suspicious when they used the x-ray to screen the bag before loading it on the plane. If it looked suspicious the TSA would probably open the bag to check it out. And if they opened the bag, they'd get a blast of marsh-wet O' clothing. Yuck.

Sure enough, some TSA employee in Portland, Maine, had the job of inspecting my bag full of stinky O' clothing. When I got home and opened my bag I found a note from the TSA telling me they'd screened my bag. I feel sorry for the poor slob who had that job.

posted by Michael | 8:43 PM


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Some old and some new advice


The first bit of orienteering advice I remember was to "be a that's where I'm going orienteer not a that's where I am orienteer." The advice was from Oyvin Thon who was interviewed for Orienteering USA (the precursor to ONA) in 1982. Thon had just won his second individual world championship.

At the time I wasn't exactly sure what Thon was talking about, but the phrase stuck in my mind.

A few years later I began to understand. A guy named Lars Lindquist spent a week helping Dan and I train at Silvermine in New York (in 1985?). Lars was in the U.S. working with another Swede (Mats Carlsson?) to make some maps. He spent a week with Dan and I running around Silvermine and trying to teach us how to orienteer. Lars had us running a very simple exercise that taught us how to be a "that's where I'm going orienteer" and demonstrated how much faster it was.

I was reminded of Thon's quote when I read the interview with Thierry Gueorgiou in the latest O-Sport magazine. Gueorgiou said:

I would say that in 2001 I was an orienteer who knew all the time exactly where he was. At present, I'm an orienteer who knows where he will be in the next 100 meters.

Gueorgiou's style sounds just like Thon's. But, I think I like Gueorgiou's phrase more. His description is more concrete, more descriptive.

posted by Michael | 8:09 PM


Monday, September 27, 2004

Some legs from Maine


Here are a couple of legs from the weekend's races in Maine. They give you a sense of the terrain and some of the sort of orienteering problems we faced.

posted by Michael | 6:32 PM



Here is a leg from my race at the U.S. Relay Champs in Maine (click on the image for higher resolution). This is a type of leg we don't see very often -- lots of trail route options. I went a bit left of the line, using trails as much as practical.

posted by Michael | 6:31 PM



The first leg on M40 on Saturday in Maine. This sort of leg is difficult when you don't know what to expect from the green. I went to the right, along the trail then through the thin bit of green and over the reentrants to the control. Click on the image for higher resolution.

posted by Michael | 6:28 PM


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Next planned update on Monday, September 27


I'm heading up to Maine for the U.S. night and relay champs. I might post some audio comments from Maine, but the next time I plan to update this page is Monday, September 27.

posted by Michael | 6:57 PM


An old interview


I've got a bunch to get done today, so I don't really have time to write. Instead, I'll repost an interview with Halden SK's trainer, Kjell Puck, from Halden's newspaper. The interview was published in 2001.

Kjell Puck sees himself as someone who is more of an advisor than a coach. His job is to see that the runners can get the most from their own talent.

"The runners are their own coaches and must take responsibility for their own training. Our job is to provide some inspiration and steering. It is the runners who train twice a day, go to school or work, and at the same time get enough rest and good food, in order to be the best."

Halden SK is often recognized for taking chances and being innovative -- the club stays a step ahead of its competition.

"Good experiences make for the best motivation. We are always trying to create good experiences in our training and are always looking for new ideas. Sometimes we do training with some unexpected changes. That way the runners are forced to deal with things they don't think they deal with well."

Halden SK also is a step ahead when you consider the choice of terrain for training. The club's leaders, with Kjell Puck among them, spend a lot of time and resources to find relevant terrain for upcoming races.

"We work from a long-term plan. An important championship or relay is planned for several years. Several of the clubs runners have already been in Finland to train in areas relevant for next year's Jukola. Several have also been in Switzerland where the 2003 World Champs take place."

"We used our contacts to rent an apartment outside of Zurich where our runners can go for training in areas similar to the World Champs terrain."

posted by Michael | 6:55 PM


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Worst to first


I put together a fantasy WOC team for the middle final race a few days ago. I remember looking at the start list. Gunilla Svard? I felt like Gunilla would have a great chance. She lives in Uppsala, where the terrain has some distinct similarities to the WOC terrain. She seems to have come in to good form. She seems like a nice person, with a real drive to prepare well. I didn't see much chance she'd finish out of the top ten. So I put Gunilla on my team.

I followed the race coverage live on the internet. When I went back to sleep at about 6:15 a.m., I took a last look at the radio controls. Gunilla still hadn't shown up at the second radio. She must have been hurt. She was probably just walking back to the finish, hobbling on an injured knee.

I woke up a few hours later and checked the final results.

Gunilla finished last. Dead last.

Then the next day, she won the first leg of the WOC relay. Worst to first.

Gunilla's problem in the middle distance was a bad compass. Apparently the needle fell off the pin it sits on (or something like that) so that it didn't turn. I suspect Gunilla glanced at the needle, thinking it was pointing north, and ran a rough compass direction. Since the needle wasn't actually pointing north, she ran off in the wrong direction. The terrain was relatively flat and complex. Things probably didn't fit, but she must not have recognized what was going on.

Uppsala's newspaper quoted Gunilla:

"I couldn't get anything to fit. It wasn't until I'd looked for the control for 20 minutes that I realized my compass wasn't working....Since I began orienteering, I've never DNF's, so I wasn't going to DNF at the WOC."

I don't know if Gunilla had a spare compass with her. I hope she did. But, I don't really know. I used to carry a spare all the time. I don't any more.

Marita Skogum, the Swedish team leader, not only won the world champs in New York in 2003, she also had some compass problems at a WOC. She smashed her compass on a rock just minutes before her start. She got a spare compass from a team leader and went on to win the race.

posted by Michael | 6:23 PM


Monday, September 20, 2004

Special English


The alternativet discussion page (eftersnacket) has been full of comments about the English spoken by commentators at the World Champs.

I followed the live audio/video coverage of most of the middle distance and relay races. I guess I saw about 4:30 to 5:00 hours of coverage. The announcers mixed Swedish and English, with a bit of German and Finnish thrown in. Some of the runners were interviewed after they finished and some of them spoke a bit of English.

The English was fine but not perfect. Aside for one or two British and Australian runners, I don't think anyone was a native English speaker. I was impressed that someone would even make an effort to speak English at the end of a hard race.

My favorite non-native English interview was when a runner described it as being "very funny in the forest today." Of course, he meant it was "fun" not "funny." But the image of a pack of world class orienteers running around and laughing is amusing.

I'm not sure if I have a point or not. Maybe my point is just that people who are criticizing the English -- which was a part of the best live O' coverage I've ever seen -- should just lighten up.

posted by Michael | 9:42 PM


Sunday, September 19, 2004

Looking at the map


Watching the video coverage of today's WOC relay I was struck by how often the top orienteers look at their maps.

Heli Jukkola looked at her map every few steps. Jukkola seemed to be the extreme. But most runners didn't go any more than about 10 seconds between looks at the map.

I have no idea how often I look at my map. I don't think I look at my map as often as the top runners were looking at theirs.

I think I'll try something on a training course this fall. I'll wear a watch programmed to beep every 20 seconds or so and make a point of looking at the map at least two times between beeps. That'll give me a sense of how often I usually look at the map.

posted by Michael | 8:20 PM


Saturday, September 18, 2004  

I think James is running the WOC relay tomorrow. Go James. Go US Team. Beat Canada!

posted by Michael | 7:19 PM


Some comments from Valstad


Bjornar Valstad wrote an article about his world championship race. I don't have the energy to translate it, but here are a couple of points Valstad made.

Valstad struggled with less-than-hoped-for results this year. He decided something had to be done before the WOC. So he went back to things that had worked in the past: long technique training, lots of short and long competitions, lots of hill training, and long runs in the mountains.

Valstad's race wasn't perfect, but it was close. He figures he lost 30 seconds at the 10th control when he didn't see the control marker and 30 seconds at the 23rd control when he stopped too soon.

Before the WOC, Valstad had struggled with reading the map in the WOC terrain. He worked to figure out how fast he could run without losing control of the map reading -- figuring out where he could run fast and where he'd have to slow down. He used a magnifying glass, so on that between controls he'd read a 1:15,000 map (i.e. without the magnifier) then switch to 1:10,000. "Without the magnifier, I wouldn't have won the gold yesterday."

Valstad needed to keep rough directions during the long legs. But he isn't good at just using the compass. One thing he did was rely on the sun's shadows to help keep his bearings.

If you can manage the Norwegian, take a look at the Valstad's article. It makes for interesting and inspiring reading.

posted by Michael | 7:02 PM


Friday, September 17, 2004

Rostrup's miss


Jorgen Rostrup was leading the WOC sprint at the 10th control, just a couple of minutes from the finish. He lost time on the way to 11 and ended up finishing 7th, 17.3 seconds behind the winner.

What happened?

I read a couple of Norwegian news stories that explained Rostrup's miss. He took a bad route. He took a chance when he should have just hung with a Finnish runner. Rostrup's route took him 1:36. Rostrup was 41st of the 45 runners on that leg. The fastest time on the leg was 1:15.

I looked at the routes from seven other runners on the Runoway web page. Rostrup was the only person who took his route. All of the others took one of two fairly similar variations.

The women's race had a similar leg (the same control but a bit different leg). I looked at 14 of the women's routes and none of them approached the control the same way as Rostrup.

Looking at how Rostrup ran the leg I can see why he lost time. He ran much more of the leg in the forest compared to others who spent nearly all of the leg running on trails. He climbed a couple of extra lines. Rostrup's approach to the control was physically tougher and a bit trickier.

Why did he take the wrong route?

I don't know, but I'll speculate. Rostrup didn't prepare for the sprint until he was selected a couple of weeks before the WOC. When he was picked for the WOC sprint, he was quoted in the newspapers as saying he didn't even know the map symbols for sprint maps. Maybe he just didn't have the sprint experience to make the right choice on the 11th leg. Given that every other runner who has marked their routes (to date, at least) took approached the control from the trail above the control it seems reasonable to conclude that the route choice problem wasn't tough.

I wonder if Rostrup would be the sprint world champ if he'd done a bit more preparation over the last year or so (instead of over the last couple of weeks). We'll never know.

One of the stories I read today quoted Rostrup as saying he'd never run another sprint. I hope that isn't true because I think he's a very interesting orienteer and still young enough to win more world championships before he ends his career.

posted by Michael | 5:50 PM


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Bjornar's victory


My first thought when I woke up this morning was -- how did it go? Who won? Did Gunilla get the gold? What about among the men?

I made my oatmeal and sat at the computer and looked up the results. No gold for Gunilla and Bjornar Valstad won the men's race.

If I'd been a bit more motivated, I could have gotten up a few hours earlier and watched the video coverage live. The internet is so cool.

The first time I really paid attention to a WOC was 1983. I'd been orienteering for a few years and knew a few people on the U.S. Team. The race was in Hungary. But it'd be weeks before I knew the results.

Instead of sitting at the computer, I got a newsletter a week or so after the team had returned to the U.S. The newsletter included results and black and white photocopies of the maps. It was, at the time, quite cool to look at the maps.

The nearly live info from the races via the internet makes following the sport a lot more fun.

Another thing the internet has done is make it easier to be a fan. If I remember correctly, Morten Berglia won the WOC race in 1983. Who was Morten Berglia? I knew he was from Norway and I'd seen a picture of him. That's all I knew. This year, Bjornar Valstad won. Who is Bjornar Valstad? Well, I actually feel like I know a lot about him because I read his web page every day. I know about how he trains. I know about where he trains. I know about what he thinks about orienteering and how he approaches events. I know a lot about him. Or at least I feel like I know a lot about him. It is more fun to follow specific athletes when you have a sense of the person.

posted by Michael | 8:57 PM


Wednesday, September 15, 2004  

Go Gunilla...bring home the gold for my fantasy WOC team!

posted by Michael | 8:42 PM


Will Gunilla win?


I've put Gunilla Svard on my fantasy WOC team for tomorrow's long distance final. Here are a few words from Gunilla (translated from a web page from one of her sponsors) about her preparations this year:

...I also felt my physical form was coming. A gold in the relay at the European Champs, where I succeeded on the last leg, was proof. I got more evidence at the WOC team selection races where I finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I really was on the right track. When I then won the Swedish Champs in the classic distance (something I'd never done before) everything felt promising for the WOC.

posted by Michael | 8:32 PM


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Some notes about tomorrow's sprint


The sprint races at the World Champs take place tomorrow. It'll be fun to see who takes the first medals of this year's WOC. I find the sprint an interesting race because it is so new. This is just the third time the WOC has had a sprint.

A couple of notes about the sprint:

1. Tom Hollowell is shown on the start list for the USA. I don't think Tom was expected to run. I wonder if someone got sick or hurt. Maybe we just didn't have three people who wanted to run the sprint. It'll be fun to see how Tom does. Tom might be the best prepared US orienteer. He lives in Sweden and does a lot of technique training in WOC-relevant terrain. I'd guess he's done more sprint-like races than most Americans. I put Tom on my fantasy team. Go Tom.

2. Emma Engstrand was quoted on the Swedish O' Federation web page:

I will try to make sure I don't win the qualification race. In the sprint it usually isn't good to start at the absolute last with all of the best runners. Being a bit further ahead in the start list for the final means that you've got people to catch, which can be a big advantage.

That's an interesting approach, but might be over thinking a bit. In any case, I hope Engstrand runs well because she's on my fantasy WOC team for the sprint.

3. How will Rostrup do? Rostrup got the last spot on the Norwegian team. Rostrup's selection wasn't without controversy. Apparently the team coach favored Bjornsgard, but the coach was over ruled and Rostrup got the final spot. I suspect the main reason is that Rostrup was considered a stronger candidate for the relay race. Rostrup was disappointed to get picked for the sprint -- noting that he didn't train for sprints and wasn't even familiar with the IOF sprint map standards. There is a bit of a "soap opera" feeling to the whole thing. It'll be interesting to see how it goes. I'm confident Rostrup will put together a couple of good races and I'd like to see him take home a medal. Like Engstrand, Rostrup is on my fantasy team.

posted by Michael | 8:13 PM


Monday, September 13, 2004

Norwegian goals at WOC


O-Nett reported on the Norwegian runners' goals for WOC. I'm interested in goals and motivation, so I was interested to see what the runners had to say. I translated a bit of the article.

Here are the goals for all the Norwegians:

Elisabeth Ingvaldsen: Medal in the relay.

Hanne Staff: To have good runs and I hope to fight for gold.

Marianne Andersen: Focus on good runs, then I'll see how far I can go. I want to do better than last year.

Birgitte Husebye: In my preparations I've set out a strategy that I hope to follow and that will, hopefully, lead to good results.

Anne Margrethe Hausken: I to do what I can and do better than my 6th place last year.

Lina Hagman: Run good races technically and perform to what I can.

Holger Hott Johansen: I want to go home from the WOC with two races without booms. I hope, and believe, I can medal.

Bjornar Valstad: Have fun [I'm not quite sure if I've translated it quite right] and complete a top competition.

Hans Gunnar Omdal: I've never run a WOC before, so I don't have a point of reference. But to finish in the top ten is a realistic goal.

Oystein Kristiansen: I want to go hunting Tuesday after the WOC with a good feeling. Then I'll be satisfied. [Kristiansen says he's going "rype" hunting. I think that is some sort of animal, but I don't know what]

Anders Nordberg: I've got as a goal to be in the top six.

Jorgen Rostrup: I'm not in the sport to finish second.

My apologies if I've mistranslated any of these. My Norwegian is certainly a lot rougher than my Swedish.

posted by Michael | 7:49 PM


Sunday, September 12, 2004  

Mikell Platt preparing for a race.

posted by Michael | 4:29 PM


Some notes on the long qualifying race


I spent a few minutes looking at the U.S. results and split times. None of the U.S. runners qualified. Qualifying would have been quite an achievement. I'm not surprised no U.S. runners qualified, but I am disappointed. I think the terrain at the WOC is really tough for us -- some difficult footing combined with some fast running and difficult navigation. It looks like tough, but fun, orienteering.

Brian seems to have had a good race until the very end. He boomed 14, losing several minutes. Check out Pasi Ikonen's routes for the last few controls. Brian and Pasi ran the same course.

Brian missed at a tricky control -- a bit diffuse, some green and at a time on the course where he must have been tired.

Eddie ran the same course at Bjornar Valstad. Check out Bjornar's routes. Eddie lost time on 2, 6 and 7, where I'm guessing he's losing time because of the footing. Each of those legs takes you through some rough stuff. Eddie lost a few minutes on the 5th leg. I don't know if he boomed the control or lost time on the route (or both). 5 looks like the kind of leg where you could lost a lot of time since both route choice and fine navigation are coming in to play.

From the splits, it looks to me like Eddie managed the part of the course that goes in the most detailed terrain quite well. Take a look at Valstad's routes through the detailed area.

I haven't seen the course that Mikell ran. His split times look like he had a reasonable race.

Karen ran the same course as Hanne Staff. Check out Hanne's routes.

Though I can't be sure, it looks to me like Karen lost time in the detailed areas around controls 5, 6 and 7. She also dropped a few minutes on the 9th leg. Again, I can't tell from the splits if she missed the control or lost time on the route or both. But, the 9th control looks a bit scary -- diffuse area near the end of a tough run.

Sandra lost time on several legs, but the story of her run has to be that she lost a bunch of time on the first leg. Losing time at the beginning of a race hurts. Time is just time, but to start badly is tough mentally. I haven't seen the course Sandra ran, but all of the courses I've seen have similar first legs.

The terrain around the first controls on other courses looks fairly tricky. If you lost contact or ran too fast, relocating would be a bit difficult.

Erin's race looks like the best of all the U.S. runners. She lost time on a few legs, but didn't have any really big time losses.

I think Erin is the youngest U.S. runner at the WOC (or is Sandra?). It is good to see her having a good race.

Overall, I'd say the U.S. has done about what could be expected, especially given the difficulty of the terrain and courses.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the races go tomorrow.

posted by Michael | 3:55 PM


Saturday, September 11, 2004  

Tina Olm-Junegard, a key member of my long qualifier fantasy WOC team. Go Tina!

posted by Michael | 2:59 PM


Long qualifying race fantasy team


Boris started a fantasy WOC thread at Attackpoint. Check it out at Attackpoint and add your team.

Here is my team for the long qualifying race. From the first list of nations: Jenny Johansson (SWE), Simone Niggli-Luder (SUI), Emil Wingsted (SWE) and Mats Haldin (FIN). From the second list of nations: Olle Karner (EST) and Tina Olm-Junegard (EST). From North America: Brian and Sandy.

A few words about my team:

You'll see a lot of Scandinavians. That's because I expect the terrain to favor Norwegians, Swedes and Finns. I won't be surprised if a few non-Scandinavians do very well (Novikov and Guerorgiou being a couple of obvious candidates).

Picking runners for the second group of nations was quite a challenge. I don't know as many of the names. I was tempted to pick Katalin Olah (HUN) with all of her experience. I gave some thought to Anna Garin (from Sweden but running for Spain). I settled on Tina Olm-Junegard (EST), at least in part for sentimental reasons. Tina was a clubmate when I was living in Stockholm.

Sandy (CAN) seems like an obvious pick for the North American woman. I didn't feel like I had as obvious a choice among the North American men.

posted by Michael | 2:46 PM


Friday, September 10, 2004

Fantasy World O' Champs


I designed some rules for a fantasy WOC while I was running a few weeks ago. The idea was to come up with a simple way to pick a "fantasy team" for each of the individual WOC races and combine the runners' results.

The rules are simple. Here they are:

1. Before each individual race you pick a team of 4 men and 4 women.

2. You have to pick two of the men and two of the women from this list of nations: Denmark, Switzerland, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Norway, Russia, Finland and Sweden. But, you can only have two runners from a single nation.

3. You have to pick one man and one woman from this list of nations: Estonia, Latvia, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Australia and Ukraine.

4. You have to pick one man and one woman who run for Canada or the U.S.A. (This rule would be waived for any finals if no one qualifies).

5. Your team's score is the sum of the runners places. (For example if you pick a runner who finishes 3rd in the race, your team gets 3 points).

6. If your runner doesn't finish or gets disqualified, you get points based on the number of starters in the race. (For example, if 60 people start the race, any and all DQs or DNFs count as 60 points).

I came up with the basic rules to entertain myself while I was running. I'm not actually arranging a competition, but I might pick a team before each individual race just for entertainment.

posted by Michael | 6:14 PM


Thursday, September 09, 2004

I don't get this rule


One of the rules at this year's World Champs is, quoting from Bulletin Number 4:

In all Final races and the Relay there are clearly marked Coaching Zones close to the finish areas where team coaches may coach their athletes while they pass by...In order to keep a high level of fairness the only activities allowed in the coaching zone are...Exchange of verbal communication with athletes; no written information...

I understand restricting the area where a coach can provide information to an athlete. I understand emphasizing fairness.

I don't understand why written information is prohibited.

I suppose there is some good reason a coach could yell information to a runner but couldn't hand that runner a bit of paper. I just don't understand what it could be.

If you know why written information is prohibited, leave me a comment and explain it.

posted by Michael | 9:18 PM


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

One of my favorite places


Johan Nasman has been doing some of his last WOC training at one of my favorite places for orienteering.

Check out Nasman's middle distance practice course at Karsta.

Here is what Nasman wrote:

Tuesday was WOC training at Karsta, north of Stockholm. A technical course that is similar to the WOC middle distance terrain. Perfect WOC training with streamers marking the control and a prepared course. Technically it went well. Positive for me is that my technique is going well and my running form has been getting better the last few weeks. Tomorrow will be sprint WOC training at Rosjon with Fredrick Lowegren as the course setter and control hanger. I'm looking forward to it.

As I said, Karsta is one of my favorite places. You don't get much route choice, but it is so much fun to run in this sort of terrain, reading the map and running right at the edge of your ability to keep contact.

My main memory of Karsta is a night O' training in the snow. Looking back at the terrain (and considering how little night O' experience I had at the time) I'm surprised I was able to find all the controls.

posted by Michael | 8:06 PM


Tuesday, September 07, 2004  

Is that a big boulder?

posted by Michael | 8:50 PM


Map walks


I did a map walk this weekend. Mary and I walked around a very detailed area, carefully reading the map and talking about what we saw. It was fun. I think it was also good training.

Walking, rather than running, gives you a chance to really study the terrain and the map. It feels a like making a map...without the work.

Going with Mary also gave me a chance to learn a bit about how she orienteers and reads the map.

In the old days (i.e. the mid/late 1980s) I spent a lot of time walking around looking at maps. I cut back, way back, when I decided my basic map reading was strong enough and I needed to spend more time working on map reading at race pace. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have cut back on the map walks (except when I was already doing a bunch of fieldchecking).

Do elite orienteers spend much (any?) time walking around looking at the terrain and maps?

In Marita Skogum's book, she wrote about spending some time in the forest, walking around and looking at the map.

Kent Olsson wrote about spending some time each year doing a bit of fieldchecking (which is basically the same as doing a map walk).

Emma Engstrand wrote about a pre-WOC training camp in May:

One of the sessions was a map walk. That was something rather new for me and I had some trouble knowing how I should best set up a map walk....

posted by Michael | 8:23 PM


Friday, September 03, 2004

Next planned update on Tuesday,September 7


My next planned update will be on Tuesday, September 7.

Non-orienteers orienteering

I'm sure there are lots of non-orienteers who set up orienteering events all over the US. I've bumped in to control markers (sometimes homemade) out in the forest while training. Adventure racers and scouts are probably the prime suspects.

A group in Columbia, Missouri, is putting on an event at a state park in October. Check out the web page for the "orienteering meet and eco knowledge match" I don't think these folks are regular orienteers. I hope they do a good job.

My favorite part of the meet announcement is:

a blanket to conserve heat is strongly recommended in case you get lost - it is October after all!)

posted by Michael | 1:36 PM


Thursday, September 02, 2004

More on injuries


From an article on Karolina A Hojsgaard's recent racing:

Karolina can look back at the European Champs in Denmark and feel satisfied. The weeks before the European Champs weren't really fun. First, a cold in the end of Mary forced her to miss the long and sprint Swedish Champs.

After a pre-European Champs training camp, Karolina fell and hurt her knee. The knee problem meant that in the last month before the European Champs she could only train short, easy sessions -- the longest 40 minutes.

So the European Champs was the first race where she felt more or less healthy and injury free, though not trained as well as she'd expected.

The knee was ok and she reached the finals in all of the races.

Karolina placed among the top ten in every discipline and the margins to the medals were small. In the relay she finished with a gold for Sweden.

Some changes

I've made one change to this page and plan another.

I added a little button you can click on to email a link to any post. I'm not sure why you'd want to do that (maybe send a note - "Can you believe what this idiot wrote today?") but it was easy to add the feature.

In the next week or two I plan to put in a different "comment" feature. I think the change will make things work a bit more smoothly. The only real problem is that I expect to lose the old comments. Over the years there have been some very good comments. I don't want to lose them, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep them.

posted by Michael | 7:44 PM


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Does stress matter?


When I ran tonight my legs felt heavy. I was moving slowly but felt like I was working hard. I didn't run yesterday, so my legs should have felt fine.

I was thinking the problem might be related to a stressful day at work. We released a report today. As an audit manager, I supervise about 5 reports a year. Releasing a report isn't an everyday occurrence, but it isn't that rare either. Still, the day we release a report can feel stressful. What will the response be? Will the press understand what we've found? Will I have to answer any tough questions?

The report we released today was about the Police Department. While I'd say we've got a reasonably good relationship with the police, I'd also say dealing with the Police is a bit different. That difference makes it a bit stressful.

So I felt a bit of stress all day at work today. Maybe that carried over to tonight's run.

FYI, you can read the report, "KCPD Patrol Deployment, Blackout Analysis" if you've always wondered what a performance audit looks like.

posted by Michael | 7:32 PM


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